Lumber #4: Urban Logging Starts Here

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 09-23-2010 05:35 AM 3338 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Medium Rare, just like I like it. Part 4 of Lumber series Part 5: hurricane Irene effect »

OK, it didn’t really start HERE, but way back about the time I signed up for lumberjocks when I got these applewood logs. I already mentioned it in a previous post, but for those that did not read it here it is again (if you’ve read it you can skip to step 3)

The Applewood Logs Story
2007, I was just getting into woodworking, had a circular saw, drill, and a router. my wife saw an add on craigslist giving away applewood. I went to see the guy, a nice older woodworker that was moving out and was done with woodworking. he only had a few applewood logs left and was looking to pass it on to another woodworker. the deal was – it cannot be burned! after a tour in his house showing me all his woodworking projects (NICE) we came to the logs. 2 humungous logs. one at 14” diameter, ~7 feet long. I made an attempt to lift one side to get an idea how heavy it was – and decided there was no way I could take this, not to mention – how in the world will I slice it to usable lumber?!? all I had was a circular saw.

the guy than told me, although this may be too big – he has some smaller logs I can have if I wanted. I wanted!


So I debarked those and sliced them a couple of weeks ago, had them just laying on top of one another for about a week till last week I ripped some pallet wood slats into spacers, and stacked the applewood with some room to breath. I also stacked them on top of 2 heavy duty planters that where laying around to keep it way off the concrete floor:

I estimate somewhere around 50-60bf mostly cut to 5/4 some 6/4 and some 8/4. I sliced this without a sled, and freehand with a resaw guide, the cuts are a bit wavy, so am not sure I can utilize the entire length of the boards (3-5feet long) without loosing quite a bit of material, but my plan is to use this mainly for boxes, toys, and other smaller projects so I’m not too worried about that. the grain and colors inside are quite unique and range from greyish brown moca:

to a vibrant reddish not fully mixed cappuccino:

And one log (the longest) has these really unique color variations that resemble spalting, although it doesn’t seem like it is:

I actually got my package from Lee Valley today with my moisture meter (after my cheapy one from rockler fried) which pointed out that the moisture in all the logs is 9%-10% which is great – after all, these logs were sitting in the corner of a shed for the past 10+ years. I’ll still leave them stacked to acclimate better now that they are sliced up. I sealed all the ends with paste wax to slow down any moisture changes through the end grain, and will let those boards balance themselves out a bit before I try to make anything of them.

Thanks for reading,

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

16 comments so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4043 posts in 4425 days

#1 posted 09-23-2010 05:51 AM

Nice looking haul there, Sharon. It will be interesting to see the boxes and small projects as they come to fruition.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Karson's profile


35186 posts in 4761 days

#2 posted 09-23-2010 05:54 AM

Sharon: SOme great looking wood. Nice haul.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4275 days

#3 posted 09-23-2010 06:12 AM

Last pic – yes, spalting. There are many different kinds of fungus which can induce the decaying process. That’s one that looks familiar to me and occurs quite frequently on my NZ silver beech.

Looking forward to what gets produced from the apple. Lots of saw handles were produced from apple by Disston, probably others.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3335 days

#4 posted 09-23-2010 06:23 AM

Good looking stuff Purp. I love the grain on those boards. That is a super score you got. Maybe get the big log chainsawed in two and park it somewhere for a while…you won’t find the opportunity for apple wood easily again!

I re-sawed some pear that looked kind of similar to that last photo, a bit less white. Had a knot in the center.
Not sure what to do with such gorgeous wavy grained boards, hate to cut them up square and lose their character

Cheers, Scott

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3197 days

#5 posted 09-23-2010 06:24 AM

I got a similar log, I love the color variety apple has

-- A posse ad esse

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4009 days

#6 posted 09-23-2010 06:35 AM

Thanks for the comments, right now I an very anxious to use it looking at all those colors – but am just terribly uninspired and nothing comes to mind as to what to do with it.

At one point I really wanted to get some olive wood for tool handles, but it’s so scarce here on the east coast, and frankly – it’s much work for not a whole lot of gain as all my tools already have good handles :) but thanks for the idea Steve!

Scott, that does look very similar. I actually contacted a landscaper that took down a pear tree last week, but I got to him 2 minutes too late as someone already took the entire thing.

and yes, apple tree has a beautiful color variations and grain patterns. quite unique.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3212 days

#7 posted 09-23-2010 07:24 AM

Nice job -now you should come do this walnut for me

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3335 days

#8 posted 09-23-2010 07:39 AM

There is nothing like having a bandsaw with re-saw capability.
Every hunk of wood on the side of the road just seems different to me now…how would it look re-sawn??
I am drooling over those logs Chrisitne.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4009 days

#9 posted 09-23-2010 08:00 AM

Yikes, those a huge. a bit beyond my capacity, although I would be tempted to try different things if I was any closer.

Scott- I know what you mean, it can be frustrating sometimes. they just took 5 trees down outside my office, I looked at all the logs on the ground, but just don’t have any space to store anything anymore… had to let it all go. that was a small treasure that went to the abyss …

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mafe's profile


11971 posts in 3450 days

#10 posted 09-23-2010 10:59 AM

Congratulations on the fantastic wood, you are a lucky man.
It looks wonderful, so don’t haste into a project, let it rest and wait until the right project shows up.
You can practice on some of those pallets.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View ellen35's profile


2740 posts in 3793 days

#11 posted 09-23-2010 12:25 PM

Great haul, Sharon.
The wood looks beautiful… and now ready for use.
So, what will it become?

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View SPalm's profile


5332 posts in 4243 days

#12 posted 09-23-2010 02:09 PM

Nice. My Dad did some nice carvings with Apple. Very pretty wood.

I know what you mean about waiting for inspiration to come for a project. That is a really weird feeling. I guess it comes with modern Affluenza.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mark Colan's profile

Mark Colan

211 posts in 3206 days

#13 posted 09-23-2010 02:54 PM

Great haul, Sharon!

-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3476 days

#14 posted 09-23-2010 08:21 PM

niiice score purplev
and I second Mads let the right projects arive first

Christine just use one of your new drills to make a hole and then some Blackpowder…..BUUUUM :-O

take care

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4089 days

#15 posted 09-23-2010 10:21 PM

wow, that looks great. I’ve got some holly i need to saw up (real small pieces). I’m hoping for as little color and variation as possible (-:

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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